After a spell trying to sort itself out after the wrenching upheaval in its top management, Apple Computer Inc is ready to start bidding energetically for business again, and has a string of hot new products in the works for next year. They include low-cost home computing devices for as little as $700 and high-end […]
After a spell trying to sort itself out after the wrenching upheaval in its top management, Apple Computer Inc is ready to start bidding energetically for business again, and has a string of hot new products in the works for next year. They include low-cost home computing devices for as little as $700 and high-end Macintoshes with 500MHz PowerPCs, Marco Landi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer told the San Jose Mercury News. The PowerPC, he said, will reach speeds of 350MHz to 500MHz by the end of next year, where today’s fastest is 225MHz. He confirmed that the servers planned for the second quarter of next year would run Mac OS, AIX and Windows NT. By the end of this year, Apple will introduce an $800 portable computing device described as the computer for every student in every class worldwide – expected to be based on the Newton with a keyboard added. October 21 is the date for the first of the new PowerBooks, with another one to follow in the first quarter of 1997, before the one designed with IBM Corp specifically for the Japanese market arrives; there will be still another new model in the US in the second half of 1997, by which time, Apple will once again have clear leadership in the laptop market, Landi told the paper. Apple appeared to have bowed out of the low end mass market as a matter of policy, but if so, all the rules have changed again, and it will be back in the low end home personal computer market next year: where today $2,400 is the base price, Landi promised entry Macs for less than $1,700 and variations on Pippin for $700. In November, a new line of Performas will be aimed specifically at home education, coming packaged with software for elementary, middle school, high school or college students – and there will be a suite of games in there too. And all Performas selling for $2,000-up will, from the second half of next year, include a 166MHz Pentium board for running Windows. Other sources say that one of the key offerings from Apple next year will be a PowerExpress line of Macs for mid-1997, which will include an audiovisual board using the Philips Electronics NV TriMedia TM-1 co-processor. The boards are tipped to find their way into Performas, PowerBooks and Pippins eventually. It is claimed the TriMedia signal processor boards are 10 to 100 times faster than systems using Intel Corp’s MMX set, depending on operation. TriMedia uses a Very Long Instruction Word architecture, and is designed to run full-motion video, three-dimensional graphics, high-quality audio and high-speed communications concurrently. PowerExpress Macs should use the PowerPC 604e, and include multiprocessor models.